This is a traditional concert choir, split into the four voices of Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass, and whilst we are not an orchestral/theatrical chorus and neither are we a religious/church choir, we have elements of all of these and more in our catalogue. We have approximately 120 singing members of all ages and from all walks of life.
What kind of music does the choir sing?
Our repertoire is wide and varied covering sacred music, Scottish songs, classical pieces, musical theatre, operatic choruses and “easy listening”, and a typical concert will cover most (or all) of these genres in one night! We are also fortunate to have some fine soloists. To celebrate our 70th anniversary and beyond, we will be performing a specially commissioned song written by Bob Chilcott, the choir’s Honorary President.
Must I be able to read music to sing in the choir?
No, contrary to popular belief you don’t. Whilst many of our members do read music there are quite a number who do not and some of these record rehearsals on dictating machines, mini-disc players, portable tape recorders, etc. to help them learn their lines. We’re used to having these things shoved under our noses so don’t worry about that! In addition, many parts are available as MP3 files from the choir’s website, thanks to our excellent Conductor Cameron Murdoch.
How often and where do you rehearse?
We rehearse every Monday evening during the concert season from 19:30 until 21:30 in St. John’s- Renfield Church in Kelvindale. On street parking is free and we try to make room for everyone by parking front on to the pavement. If the season is very busy there may be an occasional Wednesday rehearsal and these are also in St. John’s Renfield Church.
How many concerts do you perform a year?
It varies from year to year, but is usually around twenty or so concerts in a season of about forty weeks, including two in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Whilst most concerts are in the British Isles we have undertaken tours to Europe in the past. In addition, we can be invited to take part in other events, such as a guest spot for Aled Jones in Paisley Abbey or singing carols in the Blythswood Hotel.
What level of commitment do you require from members?
We do expect a serious commitment from our members and would hope that you would attend as many rehearsals and concerts as possible. However, most of us have day jobs too, so an occasional absence is understood. If you need to be absent for longer, this should be discussed with the choir manager as it may be better for you to take a leave of absence for a period.
How much does it cost to join?
It depends on the type of membership. For singers, the annual subscription is currently £70, unless aged between 18 and 21 when the cost is £35 annually. Payment is by annual standing order. We also have a savings club, which one of our members looks after and which can be very helpful in saving for tours.
Do I have to buy my own music if I join?
The choir librarian will issue all members with their own set of music from which the repertoire is drawn. It may be possible for you to use electronic copies of music for learning purposes only – you should discuss this with the choir manager (Ronnie Kay) regarding copyright issues. As each set costs more than £200.00, you are asked to take proper care of it, making personal notes in pencil only and you must return it if you decide to leave the choir. Lost music or a failure to return it will result in the choir seeking payment for any replacements needed.
Do I have to buy my own uniform if I join?
The ladies of the choir are supplied with black dresses and a range of coloured chiffons to alter the appearance of the dress, depending on the type of concert and venue. The gentlemen of the choir will each be supplied with one white and one black concert jacket, two black shirts and concert ties. They will, however, require to provide themselves with a white shirt, black trousers and black shoes. All members are responsible for the care of supplied costumes, which must be dry-cleaned and returned when you leave the choir. If you fail to return supplied items of clothing, you will be responsible for paying the choir for their replacement.
Not only do you get to sing at rehearsals and concerts, you also get to tour with the choir at subsidised rates. If you’ve read about the choir in the Past Events section you’ll already know about some of our escapades! These include concerts and tours throughout the UK and Ireland and occasional tours abroad (for most UK concerts outside of the Glasgow area free transport is provided by private hire coach from Milngavie and Glasgow Buchanan St Bus Station, and Double Tree Hilton, Bellshill). We also get to mix with the professionals occasionally and in the past have accompanied Michael Crawford, provided chorus for the Gubbay Organisation and have even taken part in an episode of BBC Scotland’s TV comedy “Still Game“. More recently we were guest choir with Aled Jones at Paisley Abbey in the first concert of his 2017 UK Tour. As you will know if you’ve looked around our website we also make regular recordings – hard work, but all good fun.
How can I join the choir and what support can I expect?
All new members will undertake an audition, normally, in the presence of our conductor only. This entails singing a song of your choice and you will be taken through a few short exercises to test the type of voice you have. Decisions about membership are based on the conductor’s view of what the choir needs, at the time. New members are always welcome and during rehearsals you will be seated beside an experienced choir member who will act as a supporter for as long as you feel the need. The decision about performing your first concert will be made between you, your supporter and our conductor. Most choir members try to get involved as soon as possible and taking part in concerts is a good way of enhancing your learning – please be aware, though, that we generally sing concerts ‘off-copy’, i.e. with no reference to written music. The choir is a very friendly group, so you will find that there are always plenty of people who will be eager to help you.
Click here to contact our Choir Manager for details.
You will be contacted by our Choir Manager with full details of what to do next and who, if you wish to proceed, will arrange a short private audition with our Conductor. (You’ll be glad to know you don’t have to audition in front of the whole choir!). GOOD LUCK, and see you soon!